After weeks of ingesting so much chocolate in the lead-up to Valentine’s Day, I decided to treat myself to something most definitely not chocolate: vanilla cupcakes!
I had so much leftover icing after my cake decorating class last week that I thought making cupcakes would be a great way to keep practicing my new favorite decorating style AND use up leftovers.
I loved learning to use all sorts of icing tips but my absolute favorite was the ruffle. When done on top of cupcakes, it looks beautiful and dainty – exactly how I like my little Valentine’s Day cupcakes. Especially when paired with these festive accessories I picked up at Michaels.
A few buttercream icing tips before you make your own: Don’t skip the shortening in favor of butter or margarine. Your icing will be too soft and won’t hold up when you make fun shapes. Similarly, when you opt for colors make sure you use gels as opposed to regular liquid food coloring, which will dilute your icing and make it too runny.
I’m all about mini cupcakes as opposed to their regular-sized counterparts. For starters, I hate waiting to eat what I make so their shorter cooking time is a serious bonus. They are also just a little more adorable so I don’t feel guilty when I eat them. I’m realizing this is a trend in my cooking. As with the cinnamon truffles last week, I seem to think if I make them smaller I can eat twice as much. Can’t argue with logic.
- 1 ½ Cup (187g) flour
- 1 Teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ Teaspoon salt
- 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 Cup (150g) sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 2 Teaspoon vanilla
- Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
Icing Ingredients (Wilton Buttercream Icing recipe)
- ½ Cup solid vegetable shortening
- ½ Cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 Cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- 2 Drops of red food gel
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar
- Whisk eggs in a small bowl and then mix into creamed butter and sugar
- Mix in vanilla and vanilla bean seeds
- Scoop dough into mini muffin tin and bake for 11-13 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean
- While the cupcakes cool, prepare icing
- In a medium bowl, cream shortening and butter until light and fluffy
- Beat in vanilla extract
- Beat in confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time, scraping down the sides as you go
- Once sugar is completely incorporated, beat in milk
- For optional color, add two drops of red food gel
- Once cupcakes are cooled, apply icing